In 1968, anti-war and anti-establishment groups converged in the City of Chicago to protest U.S. participation in the Vietnam War at the Democratic National Convention. The protests eventually turned violent as Chicago police clashed with protestors in the streets, creating some of the most indelible images of the era. The political activists, who infamously became known as “The Chicago 7,” were arrested and later tried in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on charges of criminal conspiracy and incitement to riot. In this 3-part series, CBA’s @theBar shares insights into The Trial of the Chicago 7 through rare interviews with the Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the case and the last living member of The Chicago 7.
Part 1 of @theBar’s three-part series on The Trial of the Chicago 7. In this episode, host Jonathan Amarilio discusses the landmark trial with Dick Schultz who represented the United States Government in the prosecution of the Chicago 7.
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The Trial of the Chicago 7 Edition: Part 1 – Prosecutor Dick Schultz
Intro: Hello everyone and welcome to CBA’s @theBar. A podcast where we have unscripted conversations with our guests about legal news, topics, stories and whatever else strikes our fancy. I’m your host Jonathan Amarilio of Taft Law and joining me today is someone who has not only lived American legal history but played an important role in it. Dick Schultz the former federal prosecutor who represented the United States in the famed Chicago Seven trial of 1969. This conversation is going to be a two or three-part series on the Chicago Seven trial depending how it goes and we’re devoting so much time to the topic. First because it’s just one of the most fascinating trials in American history and also because at least since it happened it’s never been as relevant as it is today. I say that not only because of the recent release of Aaron Sorkin’s new film on Netflix, The Trial of the Chicago Seven but also because of the protests and rioting we saw this last summer and the violent insurrection we saw in Washington DC on January 6th. No matter where you fall on the political spectrum it’s hard to deny that those events carry echoes of the events of 1968 and 1969. So it’s a good time to reflect, to compare and to learn and there’s no better way to do that than to speak with someone who is at the very eye of the storm more than half a century ago. Dick, thank you so much for joining me. Welcome to @theBar.
Dick Schultz: My pleasure.
Jonathan Amarilio: My so Dick before we begin and just in the interest of maximizing
our time together, I want to take a moment to provide our audience with some historical context for the topic today. Like I said it will take a minute but I think it’ll be worth it especially for those of our listeners like me who didn’t live through these events and may have only read about them in history books. It is the summer of 1968, the Vietnam War is raging. The counterculture of the 1960s is in full swing if you’ll forgive the pun and protests over the war among other things are reaching white-hot
levels of tension. At the same time, the Civil Rights Movement is reeling. Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in April 1968. Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June
1968 and of course this is coming on the heels of the assassinations of President John Kennedy, Malcolm X, Medgar Evers and others. The Democratic Party is divided and in disarray. In march 1968, President Johnson unexpectedly announced that he wouldn’t seek another term in office leaving several candidates to scramble for the party’s nomination at the upcoming Democratic National Convention and that convention was held here in Chicago in August 1968. Onto that stage stepped a collection of anti-establishment and anti-war protest organizations including the Students for Democratic Society, SDS the Yippies led by counterculture celebrities like Abby Hoffman, the National Mobilization Committee to end the war in Vietnam known as Mobe, the Black Panther Party and others. Some of these groups were peaceful others were not but they all gathered in Chicago to do at least one thing, register their dissatisfaction with the Democratic Party and disrupt the Democratic National Convention. Several days of protests and confrontations with police ensued culminating with what can only be described as an all-out brawl between the protesters and the police televised live to the world from the heart of downtown Chicago. In the aftermath a grand jury charged eight men with violating the anti-riot provisions of Title 10 of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 which made it a federal crime to cross state lines with the intent to incite a riot or to conspire to do so. The trial became something of a circus due to the behavior of the defendants, their attorneys and some say the judge as well and for reasons we’ll get into today. The trial is remembered by many fairly or accurately or not as an attempt to put the counterculture and protest movements of the 1960s themselves on trial. The truth as always was much more complicated and interesting. All right, Dick my apologies for being really long-winded there but I had about a decade of history to cover in two minutes so let’s get started. Fifty-two years ago, you were chief of the criminal division of the U.S attorney’s office here in Chicago, the right hand of U.S attorney Tom Foran, your friend and with whom you tried the case then as now there just been a change in presidential administrations. There was a new attorney general to whom you were reporting. Let’s start our conversation there. You fly to DC with Tom to sit down with the attorney general, John Mitchell, an interesting colorful character. I believe he would later have his own wife kidnap to help cover up the Watergate scandal but that’s a different story for a different day. You sit down with the attorney general. Tell me Dick, when you did that were you trying to convince or to dissuade him from prosecuting then the Chicago Eight?
Dick Schultz: Before meeting with the attorney general, I had conducted the grand jury investigation in Chicago. That investigation started in September and I didn’t meet with the attorney general until I think sometime in in March. By the time we met with the attorney general, I had completed a very intensive grand jury investigation and as you pointed out the administration had changed. The Democrats were now no longer in power and it was a new Republican administration. So Tom Foran and I decided that what we must do before we present this matter to the grand jury for a vote, we had to run it by and get approval of the new attorney general. So we flew there. We went to his office and what he did which I found very interesting is he had another person there who had studied the matter. I don’t think he had any access to the investigation I had conducted but he was there to counter Tom and me so we sat in his office, the attorney general’s office. Tom and I behind the desk and this other department of justice official from Washington was there and we told the attorney general what our evidence was. It lasted most of the day. The other attorney that I mentioned whose name and I no longer remember would participate in the discussion where he thought that it was appropriate. Tom and I were somewhat animated, aggressive and in the conversation, Tom and I sat next to each other on chairs on the opposite side of the desk. Tom was smoking a cigar. In those days you could smoke cigars and cigarettes in the office and an ash from Tom’s cigar fell on a chair between us and I started to smell smoke and then I looked down and there were flames coming up at least over a foot and a half. The shag rug had caught fire and we had a fire in the attorney general’s office. It was really fun.
Jonathan Amarilio: Certainly an interesting metaphor for the topic you were discussing.
Dick Schultz: Yeah, that’s right. We got water from the bathroom and we poured water on it and absolutely ruined the rug. When it was all done, we all sat back down and continued like nothing had happened. The attorney general ultimately at the end of the day authorized us to proceed. I always wondered whether he gave that authorization just to get us out of his office.
Jonathan Amarilio: So you went to the attorney general, Dick, if I understand you correctly to convince him that indictment should be brought against the Chicago Eight, correct?
Dick Schultz: Absolutely.
Jonathan Amarilio: And what were those charges exactly? Let’s get into that.
Dick Schultz: Well, they’re basically two sets of charges. I’ll tell you who
the defendants were and as to each of the charges.
Jonathan Amarilio: Sure.
Dick Schultz: The defendants were David Dellinger, Rennie Davis, Tom Hayden, Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman, Bobby Seale, John Froines and Lee Weiner. Total of eight people. Dellinger, Davis, Hayden, Rubin and Hoffman, the five of them whom I will refer to as defendants were charged with crossing state lines to incite a riot and conspiracy to do the same. Seale was charged with that same thing. Froines and Weiner were charged under a different statute. They were charged with teaching the use of incendiary devices to firebomb, the Grant Park underground garage was on Thursday during the convention. After the first five, the ones whom I call the defendants Dellinger, Davis Hayden Rubin and Hoffman. They were ultimately convicted of crossing state lines to incite a riot and acquitted of conspiracy to do that. After Froines and Weiner who were charged with the teaching of incendiary devices what happened at the trial was as soon as it was determined through our undercover people that that’s what they were going to do, they were planting bombs in under the Grant Park garage to blow it up. Numerous Chicago policemen infiltrated the garage and waited for them and when they came down with the devices, they saw the police and skedaddled. They were acquitted and as to Bobby Seale, he was charged with crossing straight lines to incite a riot and conspiracy. He was mistried.
Jonathan Amarilio: Dick, can I ask you one quick thing about the Grant Park
The question that just popped up in my head is so the police essentially were lying in
wait because they got wind that this was going to happen and two of the defendants showed up with others to commit this bombing but then noticed the presence of the police and ran away. Were they not then arrested? Did the police not chase them and did they not find bomb materials on them, bomb building materials? That
that part confuses me.
Dick Schultz: Well, this was decided by the Chicago police at the time, the federal government knew nothing about this at the time. These were police undercover people and the police decided that they couldn’t make the arrest because they would then have to disclose their undercover people. You’ll arrest with me.
Jonathan Amarilio: Okay, got it. They didn’t want to blow their cover basically to make these arrests.
Dick Schultz: Right.
Jonathan Amarilio: Okay, so let’s talk about you get a little bit into the investigation and the grand jury findings. hat did your grand jury investigation reveal about what the defendants planned to do at the 1968 convention?
Dick Schultz: They plan to incite riots in an effort to overthrow the United States government. They thought they could trigger a violent revolution in the United States.
Jonathan Amarilio: What evidence did you have to support that? How do you know that?
Dick Schultz: That’s a big question, that’s a big question, 190 witnesses were presented at the trial, 23,000 pages of transcript, 4 and 1/2 months of the trial. To answer that question in detail would require a great deal. However, I can tell you some of the crucial critical evidence. Before the convention started, beginning a year before the convention started. The defendants, the five that I mentioned started wandering around, traveling around the United States to get people to come to Chicago to riot. Some of the evidence that was presented at trial and I’m going to be very careful here.
When I tell you the evidence, I’m either going to paraphrase it or quote it. These will be the quotes. We had undercover people, reporters, many people who are at these
Meetings in New York, all over the United States testify to the following. The defendants were saying we want to and I’m going to have to use some four-letter words. We want to “fuck up the convention.” We want to “smash the city.” We want to “provoke violence.” They said we should “be prepared to shed blood.” They said “people will fight and die in Lincoln Park.” One defendant predicted in writing there would be 6,000 arrests, 2,000 to 3,000 beatings and 20 to 30 people killed. They also arranged for Bobby Seale, who’s the chairman of the Black Panther Party to come to Chicago to exhort protesters, to arm themselves, to fight and kill Chicago police and
that’s what he did. He came here and said just those things. That’s an example of what was going on before the convention ever started, that’s what they were telling people to do in Chicago. Now there’s much more but that’s in essence what they did.
Jonathan Amarilio: So in short, the defendants announced their intention to come to Chicago and not just to peacefully protest but to violently protest and to provoke a violent reaction from the police. Is that a fair summary?
Dick Schultz: In part. That’s what they said in the more private meetings where it was more public, they said come for a peaceful protest and a music fest.
Jonathan Amarilio: Okay. Let’s skip ahead a little bit to the trial proceedings because I realized my first question was a little open-ended and we went there anyway. It’s my understanding that really before the trial even began, Bill Kunsler, one of the two defense attorneys made an unusual motion to allow one of the defendants before
trial even began to leave the country and to go to Vietnam. Is that right?
Dick Schultz: It is right. There were three American pilots who have been shot down wherein they had what we all called at the time the Hanoi Hilton, a prison in Hanoi and
they made a motion before Judge Hoffman, Kunsler did. He said that the North Vietnamese will only release those three pilots if one of the defendants, in this case it
was Davis, comes to Hanoi and picks him up and takes him back to the United States and he wanted his bond modified so he can do that.
This is two or three months before the trial started. This is in the summer of 1969
and on behalf of the government, I told Judge Hoffman that the government had no
objection. Judge Hoffman who ultimately became the trial judge for the case denied the motion. So the other side immediately made a motion before the emergency judge
of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals so we ended up before Judge Kerner and we were in his chambers without a court report and they made the motion before him. In
our position, my position was exactly the same. Judge Kerner said he would deny their
motion to free these prisoners unless we joined the American government joined in the motion. I told him I didn’t have authority to do that. He said well if you don’t do it these three prisoners are going to — pilots are going to stay in prison so go back and talk to the attorney general and tell him what I said so I did what he asked. I came back and said to him our position has not changed and he in very aggressive language said that the government was responsible now for these prisoners remaining in prison in Hanoi and we should be ashamed of ourselves. He was furious actually so I got up to leave after this bombast and finally he said “well, okay, okay I’ll grant the motion, the government just doesn’t object to the motion” but he was seeking for the government needed their assistance to accomplish this.
Jonathan Amarilio: The kind of mission of mercy?
Dick Schultz: Right.
Jonathan Amarilio: So you knew right then, you’re two to three months out from this trial like you said you knew this was going to be a huge trial. There were 190 some witnesses who were being called and right away you have this very unique, unusual episode just a weird episode, right? Did that signal to you that this trial was going to be different than any trial you’d had before?
Dick Schultz: I knew it long before we went before the judge.
Jonathan Amarilio: Okay.
Dick Schultz: Just confirmed what we already anticipated that the American public had chosen sides aggressively and passionately so we knew that we were facing some serious problems.
Jonathan Amarilio: Let’s talk about that a little bit. Your expectations going into the trial. One of the hallmarks of this trial, one of the maybe the thing it’s remembered most for are the many disruptions that the defendants themselves and their supporters in the gallery committed over the course of the trial. Did you expect them to regularly disrupt the trial the way they did? Was that something that you were prepared for or was it something that once it began you acclimated to as best you could?
Dick Schultz: There was no doubt that we were going to have crowds in the courtroom, no doubt. I didn’t know how they were going to respond and I didn’t know
whether the judge if they did respond could control them, it was an unknown. We were concerned obviously but it was an unknown.
Jonathan Amarilio: Let’s rewind a little bit. I realize I’m getting ahead of the conversation just because I’m so anxious to dive into the trial itself but I think it would be helpful if you laid a little bit of historical groundwork, the facts underlying the trial for our audience. Let’s start with the permitting process.
Dick Schultz: It goes even earlier than the permitting process.
Jonathan Amarilio: Okay, all right.
Dick Schultz: In order to really lay the foundation as to what happened before the trial. We have to know really what happened in the park. We have to know what the defendant said to get people here. I told you a little of it. What the defendants did is in addition to doing what I just said, telling people that they were going to destroy everything. What they did was they claimed to come for a peaceful protest in a music fest and they were adamant during the trial that they never suggested that anyone wanted to commit violence but they had this caveat. The caveat was we came here for peace and peaceful protests but we have a right to disobey civil laws. We have a right to resist arrest for that disobeying, that was their escape hatch to incite violence so they came here with a plan to create a situation where they would have to fight the police so they had to do that.
They had to demand permits that they were going to use to fight the police, permits for Lincoln Park and permits to march to the amphitheater. They also planned before the convention to have legal teams of over 100 lawyers and law students to bail out the defendants and the people who are working for them when they got into fights. They had arranged medical teams which had first aid stations throughout the parks in Chicago and they even were practicing judo and karate kicks to the groin, to the throat, to the temple, to the nose, solar plexus, snake dances they said that had been used by the Japanese to ignite riots in the 1960s. They were doing all this in the parks before with their so-called marshals to prepare to fight the police before the convention ever started. So before the convention started, they knew they had to have these permits that I mentioned. First permit would be the one that marched to the amphitheater, the amphitheater is important because that’s where the convention was
being held, the Democratic National Convention. The amphitheater is six and a quarter miles from where the delegates were staying at the Hilton Hotel downtown and before the convention started when these defendants were trying to get people to come to
Chicago. Here’s what they said about the amphitheater. They said, again from our witnesses who were at the meetings in these various states. They said for example the defendants would “do anything that was possible to disrupt the convention,” that’s in the quote. To “pin the delegates in the amphitheater,” that’s a quote. To “force the President to use troops to secure his nomination,” another quote. This is what they’re
saying before the convention, to require the government to use helicopters “to rescue the delegates from the amphitheater which would be surrounded by demonstrator” that’s a quote. “The action at the amphitheater will be so militant that it will take the guard and troops to get the delegates out of the convention.” This is what they’re telling people they’re going to do so they made applications before the city officials for a permit to march six and a quarter miles to the convention.
Jonathan Amarilio: But they couldn’t get them.
Dick Schultz: There’s no place for them at the amphitheater to congregate. There’s no open space. All they can do is congregate on the street. There are two streets. One street was on 47th Street and the other was on Halsted. These thousands of people could only stand on the sidewalks. It was absurd, the United States Secret Service told the city, this is all our evidence, that they would not permit this kind of crowd at the amphitheater. The city turned them down, turned them down and when they were turned down here’s what they told the city during the permit negotiations. “We’re going to flood the loop with demonstrators if you turn us down. We’re going to go cause the loop to fall.” We will “burn Chicago to the ground.” They’re telling the city officials if the permit is denied.
Jonathan Amarilio: And this is Dick, this is directly from the defendants’ mouths to
city officials, correct?
Dick Schultz: Correct.
Jonathan Amarilio: Okay.
Dick Schultz: Testimony, that’s the testimony.
Jonathan Amarilio: And that’s a good place for us to take a break. We’ll be right back.
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Jonathan Amarilio: And we’re back. So, they couldn’t get near the convention hall, the amphitheater. They obviously reformulated their plan and that was to go after the Hilton Hotel on Michigan Avenue across the street from Grant Park, heart of the loop, heart of Downtown, Chicago. Let’s go there what was their plan B.
Dick Schultz: Well, here’s what happened. Instead of being able to march — first, I have to explain to you when they wanted to march, what was going to occur. They wanted to march on Wednesday of the convention was throughout the whole week, starting on a Sunday going through the next Friday. On Wednesday night, there was going to be the vote at the amphitheater at the convention for the nominee of the Democratic Party, the President of the United States. That’s the day they wanted to march. One day, they wanted to go to the amphitheater for the reasons that I’ve just —
Jonathan Amarilio: To stop the vote, yeah.
Dick Schultz: Depend on the delegates in the amphitheater and having get a helicopter and what have it. On Tuesday night, the night before in Lincoln Park, the evidence was that two Chicago police were with the youth division, so they were basically looked like kids, and one was married to Dahl and the other was Richard Braithwaite. They were walking through the park in the evening of Tuesday, the night before and they see a whole bunch of people sitting around in the park, 100 people approximately in a somewhat circle, and one person talking to them, that person was — they came over and sat down, that person was Abbie Hoffman.
Jonathan Amarilio: Just for audience who doesn’t know, Lincoln Park was essentially the campsite for the protesters during all this, right? That’s where they were congregating each night, right?
Dick Schultz: Correct.
Jonathan Amarilio: Okay. So, Abbie Hoffman is talking to a group of about 100 protesters.
Dick Schultz: They’re all sitting on the grass, and here’s what he said. I’m going to paraphrase their testimony. He says there will be a rally at the band shell in Grant Park. The band shell was a huge shell where the orchestra used to play. There would be a rally at the band shell in Grant Park on Wednesday in the afternoon. And he said after that rally ends, they’re going to storm the Hilton Hotel. He told the group they must gather weapons, and he described some of the weapons, he said bricks, rocks, broken bottles, golf balls with nails in them and put Vaseline on their face and always wear a helmet. By the way at the trial when the witness testified to this, when Dahl did, he said these are the things that Hoffman said, and then of course at the trial, he had to identify — before he could say all that he had identified Hoffman.
Jonathan Amarilio: Yeah, there was some trouble with that though, right?
Dick Schultz: Well, Hoffman was hiding behind Rennie Davis.
Jonathan Amarilio: Yeah.
Dick Schultz: So, he had to get off the stand and fight.
Jonathan Amarilio: Yeah.
Dick Schultz: When Braithwaite, the woman who was also a witness, when she testified to this — and before she testified, she had to identify Hoffman before she could testify to it. He got up and ran out of the courtroom. To give you a touch of what was going on in the courtroom.
Dick Schultz: Yeah.
Dick Schultz: There’s a witness who also testified that Abbie Hoffman had told the witness that he had obtained the room numbers of all the convention delegates who were staying at the Hilton Hotel. So, they were planning the attack, this was one discussion where they planned it. The next day at the band shell in the Grant Park, here’s what happened. There were about 15,000 people there in the afternoon, David Dellinger, one of the defendants was the master of ceremony. When the rally concluded, they had three speakers who urged the crowd to leave in small groups and disrupt and violate the city, because they couldn’t go to the amphitheater, they had been denied. And one of those speakers who’s not one of the defendants said, “When the pigs crawl, we have won.” And then, Tom Hayden said, and I’m quoting him, “If blood is to flow, let it flow all over the city. I’ll see you in the streets”.
Dick Schultz: Let me ask you about that, you know I don’t want to focus or spend much time on the movie, because we’re interviewing you about this and we’re interviewing one of the defendants as well, and one of the few things you both agree on is at the movies, quite fictional and gets a lot wrong. But the movie focuses a lot of attention on Tom Hayden’s statement, “That if blood is to flow, let it flow all over the city.”
And the way they portray it, it was like almost some kind of grammatical mistake by him and he meant to say, “If our blood is going to flow, let it flow all over the city.” Do you have any reason to believe that’s correct, that he simply misspoke?
Dick Schultz: No.
Jonathan Amarilio: No, why do you say that?
Dick Schultz: I’ve tried a lot of cases in my life and in nearly everyone someone is trying to explain away things just like this, a statement that they made which then how sour they made, so they just say, “Well, here’s what I meant,” nonsense.
Jonathan Amarilio: Yeah.
Dick Schultz: And I’ll tell you when we get to it, a number of other things that Hayden did say, which are exactly in line with, “If blood is going to flow, let it flow all over the city,”
Jonathan Amarilio: Okay. So, the statement was another piece with him.
Dick Schultz: Yes. I’m telling you what happened on Wednesday. They’re now breaking up in Grant Park, a number of people about 1,500 still were going to march to the amphitheater, and they were stopped, they were stopped by the National Guard. Most of the rest just went over to the Hilton, and after Hilton, the crowd just filled Michigan Avenue in Grant Park, which joins it, while the police were lined up facing Grant Park on the sidewalk in front of the doors of the Hilton Hotel on Michigan Avenue. And the crowd was huge, it was somewhere around 10,000 people, we’re not quite sure how many and they were screaming and yelling, it was really, really tough.
Jonathan Amarilio: Just to kind of set it in a bigger scene for our audience, Dick. This is the most famous night of the protest, right? This is the part that the whole world was watching live, developing on television, right?
Dick Schultz: Machine cameras set up everywhere.
Jonathan Amarilio: Yeah.
Dick Schultz: All waiting for this event and everybody knew they would be on television. There were thousands of police, there were many thousands of demonstrators and it was boiling over, nothing happened yet, but it was boiling over. So, the deputy superintendent, this is the evidence of police, Rashford, went up to Dellinger and he said, “We’ve got to move, these people have to leave here,” and he said, “Let’s return,” we had ordered them to tell them to return to Grant Park just to go backwards, to go east.
Jonathan Amarilio: Which is just across the street.
Dick Schultz: We turn on the lights, there was silence. He said, “We’ll help you march to Lincoln Park,” which was several miles away, he has no answer. He says, “Do you have any suggestions?” and Dellinger’s response was, “I don’t have to listen to you,” and he walked away. Shortly after that, the police tried to clear the Michigan Avenue, the street was just jammed. And as soon as they started to try to clear it, the contact occurred, the riots occurred, the police were being — they were engaged with the rioters, so we don’t know who started what but it was wild, there were arrests, clubbing, it was awful. It lasted 12 to 15 minutes, it was one of the ugliest scenes one can ever imagine, we showed numerous films of it. Rashford testified that he had lost control of his police.
Jonathan Amarilio: Right.
Dick Schultz: He lost control of the Chicago Police. It was a debacle, an absolute debacle. When it ended, Hayden wearing a disguise was in the park, in front of the Hilton announcing on TV, he said the following, I’m quoting, “It has been a tremendous success. We accomplished everything we expected to accomplish.” After that riot was over, they did exactly what they said they would do if they had their permits denied to march. What they did was, they led a demonstration, the defendants did, through the loop. They were finally stopped at Dearborn in Washington. They started the Hilton Hotel quite a distance away, then the violence ended for that night.
Jonathan Amarilio: Did it pretty much die down after that, Dick? Was that the climax of the protest?
Dick Schultz: Oh, no. No.
Jonathan Amarilio: No.
Dick Schultz: No, but we are taking it out of order because much of the violence occurred in Lincoln Park.
Jonathan Amarilio: So, what happened in Lincoln Park in the days before the Hilton Hotel and Grant Park confrontation?
Dick Schultz: Well, it started on the very first night. Lincoln Park closes at 11 o’clock at night. The defendants sought a permit to sleep five nights in Lincoln Park, five permits I suppose. They said they needed the permits because people had no place to sleep, but one of the defendants during these discussions with the city sort of blew it. And he admitted that they didn’t really need a place to sleep because they had arranged throughout the city for 30,000 people to sleep in various homes. Our best estimate is only 5,000 people came from out-of-state. Anyway, during the negotiations here’s what the defendant said. They wanted the permits for the following reasons, body painting, nude inns, public fuck inns. By the way one of the women witnesses, the youth division of the Chicago Police said that she was walking through Lincoln Park at night, she saw the kids having sex in the trees.
Jonathan Amarilio: That’s just logistically impressive.
Dick Schultz: Yeah right, public fuck inns he said. And most importantly, the police were not to be allowed in the park any night or any day for the five days.
Jonathan Amarilio: Right, they wanted exclusive control of the park.
Dick Schultz: And if they didn’t get the permits, here’s what they said, again the evidence, “It would be suicide for the city,” this is during the negotiations, “They would tear up the town and the convention.” Another, “If the permits are denied,” one defendant told the city, “He was prepared to die in the streets.” Well, of course the permits were tonight. This is the father of Richard M. Daley, this is the old him.
Jonathan Amarilio: Yeah.
Dick Schultz: Permits for this kind of activity in the park. The reason why they did it, they said these things is that they didn’t want the permits.
Jonathan Amarilio: Right. They were self-sabotaging the negotiations to provoke a confrontation, right?
Dick Schultz: Precisely. Precisely. He said, “Very well.
Jonathan Amarilio: Didn’t Abbie Hoffman later admit that.
Dick Schultz: I’ll get to that, yeah.
Jonathan Amarilio: Okay, all right.
Dick Schultz: Let me first tell you what they did.
Jonathan Amarilio: Yeah.
Dick Schultz: You’re right though, he did. Now, he did admit it, he wrote in his book. So, the defendants then ordered and helped build a barricade in Lincoln Park, 100 feet long, they built it out of benches, fences, tables, and in some point, it was 5 feet high. And in the center of it, on the very top, they had their command center with a PA system and a microphone, and all the rest of it. The evidence was that as the evening progressed, the defendants would get up there in the command center and tell the crowd, urge the crowd to fight. Here’s some of the evidence. They would say, “Hold the park at all costs, even if it means giving up your life,” this is what they’re announcing before the police attack, “Kill the pigs,” is another quote, “Get those blood thirsty pigs.” They’re screaming at the crowd. The evidence was on the first night that this occurred, the police sent a squad car in, coming from the east towards the west, towards the barricade, announcing the park is closed, and they lambasted the car with rocks and it turned around and left. Another car came same thing happened. Then the police started walking in a line towards the barricade, and there was a slope to the police, so they got baskets of waste set it on fire and rolled the baskets at the police line.
Jonathan Amarilio: That’s creative.
Dick Schultz: It was creative.
Jonathan Amarilio: So, Dick, isn’t — and you know, I don’t know if there’s a right answer to this but it’s always seemed to me that the protesters, they really picked their man right with Mayor Daley, because his actions and the actions of the police really played beautifully into the protesters’ hands, didn’t it? Like, they could have just left the park alone and not provoked the confrontation, which would have been a win for the protesters, or they could have tried to restore order, which would have required violence, which would have been a win for the protesters. It seems like it’s a win-win scenario from the protesters’ point of view and a lose-lose scenario from the city officials’ point of view, and Mayor Daley walked right into that.
Dick Schultz: It was a setup. They knew perfectly well they were going to be denied. They’re telling the public — they’re always telling the public how they only want to have a music fest and how they had no place to sleep.
Jonathan Amarilio: Right.
Dick Schultz: And they know that Mayor Daley is not going to allow them to stay particularly after what they said and they’re going to do in the park.
So, it was a complete setup. Your question almost assumes that they didn’t want a confrontation, this is the only —
Jonathan Amarilio: No, no, I’m not. Just to be clear, that’s not what I’m saying.
I’m saying whether they had a confrontation or not because of the way they set it up it would be a win for them and Mayor Daley walked into that trap.
Dick Schultz: He had no choice. What alternatives did he have? You can stay in the park. You can sleep there. Not a chance. Not a chance. You’re going to have fuck inn in the park and I’m going to let you stay there.
Jonathan Amarilio: Yeah.
Dick Schultz: So, tell me what is his alternative?
Jonathan Amarilio: I don’t know.
Dick Schultz: They knew that. There isn’t any. They’re none isn’t it? And most importantly, they have a right to a public park, its public property, and they have a right to be on public land, this is America. And when the police try to deny that right, what did they do? They fight in self-defense.
Jonathan Amarilio: Right.
Dick Schultz: That’s what they claim to have been done. So, they were able to create a confrontation and fight in self-defense of their absolute rights as Americans, to stay in a public park. That’s how they made it appear. That’s not very complicated. So, anyway they’re pushed out of the park and they would fight, backing up all the way into Old Town. They then continue to fight in the Old Town. Part of the fight is they’re throwing rocks at CTA buses, racks, through the windows where people are sitting in CTA buses, the violence continued almost all night. Five days after the convention, you alluded to it. Well, right after the convention, Abbie Hoffman got on a plane and flew back to New York, and he started writing his book on the airplane. His book is a revolution for the hell of it. And in the book, he wrote and I’m quoting, “All the way home on the plane back to New York, I wondered what the fuck we would have done if they had let us stay in Lincoln Park that night?”
Jonathan Amarilio: Well, exactly and that that’s why I asked the question. Like do you think it would have been better if they had just left the protesters alone, contain them not let them out of the park, but not pressed them, not confronted them, not walked into that violence trap? I know it’s a what if, but I’m just —
Dick Schultz: No, no, no. It’s the right question. When you tell the city that you’re going to defile the park with children, where they’re going to have unbridled sex for five nights in the park, and because you’re intimidated by them you say, “No, no, no, I don’t want to push them out because it’s going to be violent.” What you’re doing is you’re allowing them by intimidation to defile your park and to endanger youngsters.
Jonathan Amarilio: Right.
Dick Schultz: Now, this is a city that has a responsibility. We’re not going to abrogate that responsibility simply because they’re afraid that there’s going to be violence.
Jonathan Amarilio: Okay, but that brings us back to Abbie Hoffman’s point in that book that you just read which is what would they have done if they were just left alone, do you think they would have –?
Dick Schultz: Yeah, they were already doing it.
Jonathan Amarilio: Okay, okay.
Dick Schultz: They said they were going to do it and they did. In the end of this, I’ll tell you a little more about it. One of their own people, the one who was negotiating for the permits, during the permit negotiations was writing down what they’re going to be doing in the park, but we’ll get to that.
Jonathan Amarilio: Yeah. No, I want to. Since we’re talking about intentions that raises a related issue. One of the stated goals of the protesters which came out during the trial, we’ll talk about that in a little bit, was to — one of the stated goals was to overthrow the United States Government. They said they wanted to do it with peaceful means, but they also said they wanted to do it with violent means as you’ve pointed out. My question is this, do you think that they really meant that? I mean there’s a sense today that they didn’t, that it was just sort of empty rhetoric or that they were just kids who really didn’t know what the heck they were talking about. Was that your sense then, is that your sense now? What do you think of that? Did they really mean to violently overthrow the US Government? I mean that’s such a — Well, one it’s a relevant question based on the events of earlier this month. But two, do you think they meant it.
Dick Schultz: Just a minute, you said there’s a sense. I don’t know of any evidence that supports a sense that they didn’t really mean it.
Jonathan Amarilio: Okay.
Dick Schultz: And we spent four-and-a-half months trying this case. They can present any evidence that they wanted. There was no evidence of a sense.
Let me tell you what the evidence was of wanting to overthrow the government. The evidence at the trial, not made up by people who are apologetic and driven who sympathize with them, which is — guess where you get the business of sense. Here’s what happened. First, they were hellbent on launching a violent revolution. Prior to the convention, they wrote, wrote, “Political pigs, your days are numbered. We are the second American Revolution.” Within hours after the carnage on Wednesday, Hayden described the victory as quote, “The first step towards the revolution and the second step will be coming soon.” That’s a quote. After the Wednesday night riot, in Grant Park the next day, David Dellinger backed up on the band shell, read a telegram from Cuba, the telegram urged tourist free more Chicago. And after he read that he said — now, he’s finished with the telegram he said, I’m quoting, “Only in the mood here, it’s become 200 or 300 Chicagos everywhere.” During the convention, Hayden acclaimed the significance of their victory. Here’s what he said, “Vietnam was coming home, just as in Vietnam in Chicago, the government needs barbed wire and troops to protect its delegates and to protect itself from its own citizens.” Davis announced, “We won the battle of Chicago,” and then he called for little Chicagos to be created all over and building a national liberation front. They presented a witness, a witness who had worked with David Dellinger in getting these permits. Pretty little girl, an angelic little who testified for the defendants about how she came to Chicago just for a music fest and look what happened, how ugly it was. So, on cross-examination their own witness told us what they really had in mind, and here’s what she said. She said on cross-examination and I’m paraphrasing each one of these. “The United States Government must be destroyed because it is capitalistic and imperialistic. There is no alternative other than a violent revolution.” In preparation for the revolution, this young girl, she is in the 20s, had military training and she said she had practiced
shooting an M1 rifle and practiced karate. She said, “The revolution will be fought in many US cities,” and she said, “Gradually our government will fall.” She said, “The people in America will regain control just like the North Vietnamese are doing,” she said, “She wants America to be torn apart, limb from limb.” She said, “I’m prepared to die and kill for the revolution.” And what is the redirect examination by counselor hearing this testimony on cross-examination, he started reading her declaration of independence. No, no, there was no indication that this wasn’t what they believed and what they were trying to do. That’s nonsense, absolute nonsense.
Jonathan Amarilio: And they got at least in Chicago what they wanted, right?
Dick Schultz: They were hoping to explode a revolution.
Jonathan Amarilio: Right, they wanted it to be a spark.
Dick Schultz: But the people would just be so upset with the government that they would join in and they thought it could spread to numerous cities, 200 to 300 cities and we would have what they had going in Vietnam, a violent revolution.
Jonathan Amarilio: Dick, I think that’s a good place for us to take a break and end this first episode. But for our audience we’re releasing the second part of our interview simultaneously with this one and simultaneously with our interview with John Froines, one of the two last surviving members of the Chicago 7. So, if you’re into it or you just don’t have anything better to do at the moment, stay with us while the next episode in the queue starts up. Either way, we’ll see you soon @theBar
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